Media Archive

Economic Plan Embraced for Piscataquis County

Article from Bangor Daily News, Tuesday, May 25, 2004

By Diana Bowley
of the NEWS Staff

DOVER-FOXCROFT If team spirit can give companies an advantage over their competitors, Piscataquis County officials figure the same could hold true for their economic development efforts.

County municipal and business leaders have embraced a team spirit hoping it will give them a competitive edge for state and federal assistance. They also hope it will draw attention to the county as a desirable place for businesses to expand or relocate.

The team is bent on bringing diversified jobs to the county, retaining and strengthening jobs now in place, encouraging entrepreneurship, promoting tourism and providing the necessary services businesses need for economic growth.

An economic development plan representing seven goals for the county as a whole has been adopted by Piscataquis County commissioners. The plan was prepared by a diverse group of concerned leaders in the county.

"The Piscataquis County Economic Development Plan is meant to be a template for our efforts to grow the economy in our county," Greenville Town Manager John Simko said this week. "It identified different sectors and different strategies for each."

The strategies include the creation of a public-private "Center for Manufacturing Excellence" which would encourage investing in productivity enhancing equipment and practices, promoting joint training initiatives and developing seminars and workshops related to manufacturing excellence.

Roger Merchant, a Piscataquis County extension educator, says the plan provides the county with a clear indication of where rural economic development attention needs to be focused.

"It puts us in a stronger position for development partnerships to see the work through and it positions us, better to secure appropriate investments," merchant said Monday.

The need for such a plan came out of a major retreat held in December by the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, he said. There's going to be a substantial grass-roots partnership to move these things forward, Merchant suggested.

NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.